Monday, May 11, 2009

Thoughts on Lost - Follow the Leader

I'll warn you ahead of time - this could end up being either ridiculously long or ridiculously short. I don't remember a time that I have been at this much of a loss with regards to the motivations of so many of the characters on this show. And I'm not complaining...that is actually a good thing.

On with the show!

- We open with the same scene that we ended with last week, and despite my Phoebe Buffay-like screams of "The END, The END!!!" at the screen, Daniel still gets shot and he still gets dead. That sucks.

- This made me laugh, from the Lostpedia transcript: "Galloping--horses approach. Jack puts his arms out in surrender. A man on a brown horse rides up to Jack and hits Jack broadly in the face with the stock of his rifle, polo mallet-style."
Yep, that's certainly a better description than I had come up with.

- Nice touch:
CHARLES: Then where the ___ are they from?
TITLE CARD: Thirty Years Later

- Interesting that Richard was working on the ship in the bottle. Several people online have pointed out that the ship looks like the Black Rock. I think that ANY ship from that era would look like the Black Rock, but I do think it has some significance. I certainly hope it's not simply to demonstrate that Richard has a lot of extra time on his hands. Seriously, I can't think of a more tedious and time-consuming hobby, not even blogging about the complexities and intricacies of every LOST episode.

Plus, it was funny to me, because it looked like all anybody has been doing for the last three years, ever since Locke disappeared after coming out of the Orchid, is just waiting on Locke to come back. He IS the Leader, after all, so maybe that is what they have been doing...awaiting "Further Instructions." If we ever see the inside of Richard's tent there will probably be dozens of these little ships-in-a-bottle and a stack of sudoku books.

- Ah, yes, the return of Locke the hunter. That just seemed random to me, that he would show up with a boar carcass thrown across his shoulders, although it is certainly in character. Wonder if there is more to that story that we will see later? Ben and Sun still looked kind of shell shocked, so maybe something happened on the way to Richard's camp that we didn't see?

- Richard seems legitimately at a loss as to where Locke has been for the last three years and how it was that he just disappeared. This was the start of a pattern....this was the least "knowledgeable" I can ever remember Richard Alpert acting. If he were Ben, I would be suspicious that he knew more than what he let on, but Richard has no reason to feign ignorance.

- Richard does notice something "different" about Locke, though. Locke says it's that he has a "purpose," but I wondered at first if maybe he could somehow tell that Locke used to be dead (kind of a Pet Semetary thing, if you've ever had the pleasure of reading that). Later conversations would lead me to believe otherwise...I think. Expect more ambiguity as the recap progresses.

- Richard also asks of Ben: "What's HE doing here?" I still say that Ben was NOT supposed to come back with the O6, and the fact that he weaseled his way here is going to cause problems.

- So, Richard is an...advisor. To me, the pause as Ben is answering Sun's question says as much as his answer does. He is not EXACTLY an advisor, Ben, is he?

I think that Richard is tied to the Island moreso than anybody fact, I think he is the voice of the Island, a sort of manifestation of the will of the Island.

I keep saying it, and I'll probably still be saying it years after this show goes off the air: Richard Alpert is the key. If we figure out what HE is, then we can figure out what the Island is.

- So, Richard watched them all die. I wish I knew what that meant...

Either he DID in fact watch them all die, and this is the destiny for them that nothing can change because Whatever Happened, Happened. Or he DID watch them all die, but now certain events are going to happen to change that destiny because "WH, H" is a crock. Or he only THOUGHT he watched them all die, but they in fact survived whatever it is he saw happen. Or he's lying, but I don't know why he would be doing that, unless it's to get Sun to stop looking for them because she's going to screw something up.

See? I warned you. I have no freaking clue what's going on anymore. (not that I ever really did)

- BEN: What, John, don't you trust me here with my former people? Afraid I'll stage a coup?
LOCKE: I'm not afraid of anything you can do anymore, Ben.

Boy....New and Improved Locke (Now with CONFIDENCE) really makes me nervous, ya know? Every time Locke thinks that THIS is the time he has everything figured out, something blows up in his face (oftentimes LITERALLY). I get the sneaking suspicion that this is not going to end well.

- Speaking of things that aren't going to end well, we cut back to a pivotal scene between Jack and Kate (or, as I like to call them, The Misery Twins).

- I think Jack is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Even if this cockamamie plan of Daniel's DOES work, I'm not sure what the Happy Ending is that Jack is looking for. Jack would still be a drunk, on his way to bury his father, the father whose death Jack is at least partially responsible for. Kate is, of course, going to prison. The list goes on...I mean, wasn't that the point of the flashbacks? That each of these characters were given a gift by crashing on this Island? A free pass...a "Tabula Rasa"?

Jack is falling into that trap that so many fall into: "If only THIS hadn't have happened, I'd be happy", "I could be happy if only I had THIS", etc. Until Jack learns to get past that kind of thinking and accepts the good things in his life ALONG with the bad, he will always be miserable. That's the point that Kate is trying to erasing the bad, you will also be erasing the good. But that's not how Jack Jack's world, the Bad will ALWAYS outweigh the Good, because as long as there is any bad in a situation he feels like he has to fix it.

- There is so much great stuff in the conversation with Jack and Eloise that I won't be able to do justice to the whole thing. Very well written, and very well acted (which reminds problems with Jack have NOTHING to do with Matthew Fox, or the way his character is written. In fact, it's a tribute to both that they have created a character that is complete enough to actually have a real opinion about).

- Alice Evans (Eloise) gives a great read of the lines explaining to Jack exactly what has happened with Daniel.

- Actually, this exchange describes Jack better than my ramblings ever could:
ELOISE: Does he know what he is talking about?
KATE: He thinks he does.

And, also describes Locke perfectly, too. We are winding this season down just as we have all four of the previous ones...Jack vs. Locke. But now which one is which? Man of Science or Man of Faith?

- I wonder if we'll ever actually get to see the scene where Radzinsky's brains splatter all over the Swan ceiling. The more we get to know him, the more I wonder if his death was really self-inflicted. I know I keep waiting for SOMEBODY to put another bullet in him.

- Oh, and Phil? Yeah, he's gonna die. And it's going to be GLORIOUS.

- And Elizabeth Mitchell knocked ANOTHER scene out of the park. It was almost as painful watching her reaction to Sawyer getting beat down as it was actually watching Sawyer.

- Poor Jorge Garcia:
RADZINSKY: Who the hell is Hugo Reyes?
PHIL: He's the fat guy.

Followed, of course, by a shot of Hurley stuffing as many Dha'Nilla Wafers into his backpack as physically possible.

- And here is where I started to think Sawyer was going to jet on out of here:
HURLEY: We gotta do something. I mean, Sawyer would never leave us behind.

Ummm...foreshadowing, I think.

- Comedy Gold:
MILES: Dr. Chang? What are you doing here?
DR. CHANG: I could ask you the same question.
HURLEY: But we asked you first.
DR. CHANG: Your friend Faraday said that you were from the future. I need to know if he was telling the truth.
HURLEY: Dude, that's ridiculous.
DR. CHANG: What year were you born? What year?
HURLEY: Uh... 1931?
DR. CHANG: You're 46?
HURLEY: Yeah. Yes, I am.
DR. CHANG: So you fought in the Korean War?
HURLEY: [Pauses] There's... no such thing.
DR. CHANG: Who's the President of the United States?
HURLEY: All right, dude, we're from the future. Sorry.

What made it even funnier is that is the EXACT question that Hurley knew was going to be trouble. Hilarious.

- Another nice edit...Chang telling Miles, "Let's hope he (Faraday) knows what he's doing," followed by a close up of Dan's dead body.


- Man, I hope we hear the rest of that conversation between Eloise and Charles. Something tells me we will.

- What did Richard mean "Love can be complicated?" Why not just say they are a couple?

- The scene where Locke is demanding of Alpert and Ben that they take him to see Jacob...that really struck me as uncomfortable. Again, there are multiple possibilities here: Maybe Alpert and Ben are telling the truth and Locke is breaking some sort of unwritten rule unknowingly, due to his bull-in-a-china-shop act he's got going on ever since that whole "dying and being brought back to life" thing. Or maybe Alpert and Ben are telling the truth and Locke is KNOWINGLY breaking the rules, for reasons that may not be clear until later. Or maybe Alpert and Ben know that Jacob doesn't really exist, and Locke has just done the equivalent of asking his parents if he can stay up and wait for Santa to come.

Or maybe it's just Ben that's lying. As always, that is my fallback position.

- Awesome, AWESOME scene when The 3 Amigos show up at the Nigerian drug plane. That was maybe my favorite scene from the season premiere and it was cool to see how it was actually set up. Also....
  • How did Locke know exactly when to show up? He says The Island told him (nice little dig there at Ben, too) and, barring further evidence, I guess we have to believe him. So how did THAT work?
  • Are Ben and Richard really as clueless as to what's going on as they appear? If so, that's VERY Locke really the one "in the know" for the first time?
  • Why would Locke tell Richard to be sure and tell FutureLocke that they ALL have to come back, since he knows that it didn't actually happen that way? I guess because he needs all of the things to happen that happened as he was globe-hopping around trying to convince them?
  • Locke flat out accused Ben of never seeing Jacob. Not sure whether Ben's reaction means that Locke is wrong or that Ben can't believe that Locke knows the truth.
  • Loved Ben's "Hand in the Cookie Jar" expression when Locke told Alpert that he did in fact die. Michael Emerson is the Man.

- Back at Dharma Gitmo, Sawyer convinces Stu to let him and Juliet go in exchange for information on the Hostiles. Sort of how he got out of prison. I'm afraid Sawyer is regressing.

- Also interesting...Stu is hell-bent on continuing to drill. I'll bet they run into some problems, probably in the next episode. Just a guess.

- Kate tells Jack, "I can't go any further with you." He's finally exceeded even KATE'S patience.

- Great editing and direction...Kate's reaction to Sayid's gunshot DEFINITELY caused me to think that we were witnessing a repeat of Dan's death. That's one of the cool parts about being as close to the end with this show as we are now. Especially as we get into next season, everybody is fair game.

- Can't you just see Sayid mentally counting to 10 after Kate tells him that she and Sawyer saved Ben?

"......Why did you do that?"

- KATE: And if you're wrong, then everyone on the Island dies. Do you understand that?
JACK: I'm not wrong, Kate. This is it. This is why we're here. [Sighs] This is our destiny.
KATE: Do you know who you sound like? Because he was crazy, too, Jack. You said so yourself.
JACK: Well, maybe I was wrong.

Isn't it funny how when Jack FINALLY admits that he was wrong about Locke, it's because he has become crazier than Locke could ever even imagine being?

- For a brief minute, I think we ALL thought that Sawyer was going to somehow ditch the sub after making sure that Juliet was safely aboard and come back to save his friends. Instead...."Good riddance." Yeah, I think Sawyer is DONE.

- JACK: You wanna tell me how we're gonna get a bomb out of here?
RICHARD: The same way we brought it in.
JACK: I assume you don't mean through the pool.
RICHARD: It's a 12-foot long, 40,000-pound hydrogen bomb. No, not through the pool.


- Can I just stop here and point out that young Eloise is really, really good looking? And that scenes that involve her and water should happen more frequently? Thanks. Moving on.

- Richard tells John there is another "group" at the Temple. Can someone please confirm that this group includes Rose, Bernard, and (most importantly) VINCENT?!?!?!?

- Seriously, I have no idea what Locke is up to. Does he know Jacob isn't real? Does he believe that he IS real, and that Richard and Ben have been monopolizing him and shrouding him in secrecy unjustly? Is he just stirring crap just for the sake of stirring crap?

- RICHARD: I'm starting to think John Locke is gonna be trouble.
BEN: Why do you think I tried to kill him?

See, I think Locke has become the ultimate wild card. And it's going to be AWESOME.

- Sawyer actually has a pretty good plan...once they get to the mainland, Dharma security has no more jurisdiction. So you just ditch the scientists, invest in Microsoft, and live the high life with the beautiful and talented woman who loves him. Man, everything is working out perfect for them.

(Cue JAWS music)

(Door to the sub opens)

(JAWS music gets louder)

KATE: Hey.


Rest of the World: CRAP!!!!!

Juliet's Face: That's it. I'm gonna have to cut her.

- Um, not to pick nits, but that Submarine launch? Worst. CGI. EVAH.

- I got a chill when they made it to Jughead. This is NOT going to end well.

- Laughed at Ben trying to get in good with Locke by ratting out Richard. That Playa ALWAYS has an angle that he is working, don't he?

- And...Locke is going to kill Jacob. Ma-HUH???!?!?!?

Again, a few possibilities here:

  • Maybe Locke knows that Jacob isn't real, so he is actually going to kill the IDEA of Jacob. Pull back the curtain, as it were. We know how Darlton loves them some Wizard of Oz references, don't we Henry Gale?
  • Maybe he thinks that killing Jacob is what is going to save him, similar to what he thinks it has done for him. Jacob did ask Locke to save him, after all. Maybe he is "stuck" between two worlds and Locke is going to give him a push?
  • Maybe he is just going to kill him. I'm out of ideas as to any other reasons.

This episode rocked my socks. A great mix of plot, humor, mythology, great acting and direction. And it sets up a finale that should just be mindblowing. What's Locke up to? Are Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate really leaving in the Submarine Made of Awkward? Just how stupid does Jack plan on getting?

Plus, I look for appearances by Desmond/Penny/Charlie, and possibly Christian/Claire and .....Aaron. Just a hunch.



Shan said...

Excellent recap, as always. I got sidetracked and never got around to posting all my thoughts, but I felt much as you did. Excellent episode, especially as a "tablesetter" for the finale. The performances were uniformly excellent here, but one thing bothered me: WHERE DID THE COMPASS COME FROM? It seems to be stuck in a "loop" and never "originated" anywhere.

Scott said...

Maybe it was used on the Black Rock? I do think the "ship-in-a-bottle" thing was there for a reason, maybe to remind us of the Black Rock.

Another piece of info that I have read elsewhere since I published this was that when Charles was trying to keep Eloise from going with Jack, he put his hand on her stomach and mentioned something about her "condition." I'm assuming that means that she was pregnant with Daniel at this point, even though that would have made him a 19 year old professor at Oxford when Desmond came and visited him.

Shan said...

Yes, I think the ship in the bottle was there for more than just a wink to the fans. Source of the compass? Not sure. But if you trace the path of it, it never "started" anywhere. it's caught in a time loop, and it makes my head hurt. (On the official podcast, Darlton openly admit - at least at this stage - that it is a "paradox.")

And I caught the tummy pat, meaning Dan is indeed "in there." So prof at 19? They did have some dialogue about "youngest ever," but between Dan and Charlotte, there's some fuzziness about the ages it would seem. Oh well. Give me an entertaining and mind blowing finale, and we can nitpick for 8 months in the offseason!